Development, Django, Python


It has been a long three months of non-stop coding benders, but it’s finally deployment week for the Django/jQuery UI data-driven web app I’ve been building. I hope to post some screenshots and a list of features soon, if I can get permission from the client. Anyway, this is exciting for several reasons: first, because satisfaction in life only ever comes from accomplishing a difficult task (which in this case was primarily due to time constraints), and second, now that the core web app is pretty much done (there’s some minor ui touch-ups to take care of while our database guy completes the MS SQL to PostgreSQL migration), I can return to a normal work schedule and start putting some serious thought into other projects I’ve been toying with along the way.

Obviously, the first such project involves the D-Wave python pack; v1.4.0 (final) was released earlier this month for Windows and Linux, and while there’s no word yet on the OS X release, it should be coming soon. Basically, I want to take a stab at integrating a quantum-powered neural net into the AI of computer players in this text-adventure game engine I’ve been fooling around with, so that as the human player works through the game world, the computer players can learn from the human player’s actions and respond intelligently to the human player’s style. This should, theoretically speaking, provide the grounds for more immersive and challenging gameplay. I may even allow for computer players to talk to each other, with some minor distortion of information, so that rumours which also affect gameplay can be passed around.

If that works out as expected, the next step will be to implement the same logic into Unity or the Blender game engine. I’ll have to look a little closer at Boo, a subset of Python that is built in to Unity, to see if bridging python packs such as D-Wave’s into a unity game is even a realistic possibility. If not, Blender comes with a full integrated installation of Python, so it should only require some minimal hacking to give Blender access to the d-wave api.

Another project I’ve been toying with is actually an old one—I created this integrated markup, scripting, and styling language when I was a teenager, but never got around to writing an interpreter for it. Life got in the way, and I nearly forgot about it altogether. But a few weeks back I was looking for a distraction, something to reset my mind from the obsession with the Django project, and I figured, “Why not give my language interpreter a try?” After a bit of research, I was able to throw together a quick-and-dirty interpreter in a single night. It still needs a lot of work, but the basic scripting functionality of the language behaves as expected, and I’ll be able to serve web applications natively with one of several bridges to apache, or compile the source down to html/css/javascript so it can be deployed anywhere. Expect a lot of news on this topic over the coming weeks. I will probably release the source code of the interpreter on GitHub once the first version is complete, with at least one example web app.

While working on those, I also have one more side-project in the pipeline. It’s a straight-up Django app, nothing I haven’t done before, but one that I think will be extremely useful. I’ll save the details on this project for once I have something to show off.


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